Forums: Index Watercooler Unwritten Rules

Ok, as we are probably all aware, there are a lot of standards here on this wiki that more or less only exist in the head(s) of one or more admins. I'm talking about things like markup standards, when to use a disambig, redirecting header, plural page name, etc. This leads to a lot of confusion, frustration, edits that admins have to step in and redo, extensive conversations about whether or not we're supposed to do something a certain way, etc.

I think it's time we actually documented these rules. It would make things run a lot smoother. For one thing, all of us as well as future editors could get more things right in the first place, as well as correct existing problems, so whichever admins who happen to be aware of a particular standard don't have to do it all themselves (particularly important if said admin(s) leave or become less active). Another thing is it makes it possible to discuss the standards, understand why they are there, and change them in the future. Also, having people enforcing rules that only exist in their own heads is just not a great idea for various reasons.

I realize that there are a lot of unwritten rules like this, and that it could take a lot of time and effort to get them established and recorded publicly, but we can do it gradually. Each bit we add is better than not having it. I think we can save ourselves a lot of time in the long run if we put in some effort now.--FierceDeku 22:19, March 7, 2011 (UTC)

I'm all for this. We need it finally written down. --BassJapas 22:21, March 7, 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. --DekuStick Master 22:35, March 7, 2011 (UTC)
CONGRATULATION! I AM IN AGREEMENT. -Minish Link 00:15, March 8, 2011 (UTC)

I had already started the idea here, but we never got far due to a combination of inactivity, Wikia's New Layout, and lazyness by a significant number of users(myself included). So I submit to you all the ideas put forth there as a head-start on this project. I will also gladly help in any way possible.-- C2 / CC 02:58, March 8, 2011 (UTC)

Obviously I agree. But, just for kicks and all, could you define these "various reasons" of yours? --AuronKaizer! 02:02, March 10, 2011 (UTC)

Being a wandering Wikia editor I will not involve myself into this but would like to comment on this "pioneering" endeavor: this has probably been standardized already at a higher level. I mean both a viable set of guidelines and the way of defining them locally — there's probably already a useful procedure manifest somewhere in the Wikia metasphere. Don't forget you're a part of the Wikia family.
On the topic of families, I wouldn't be surprised to see such a discussion at ZeldaWiki, since it is autonomous and self-contained in a sense... Which brings me to raise a bigger, although offtopic, issue: there's now a ton of competition in form of numerous LoZ wikis and wiki-likes each of which lack in one aspect or another in terms of content. I'd love to see this competition settled in a constructive method aimed at encompassing all the knowledge in one place which is, of course, the way of wiki and its biggest goal.

Oh, and since C2 mentioned layouts, imagine me, a meticulous Monobook user visiting a wiki and noticing a clearly bogus formatting on a page, fixing it and then, after a constructive further edit by another editor with a partial revert and chat with them, realizing that formatting looked perfectly okay("okay" is still the keyword though) in the fancy local Wikia layout. Some editors go too far with multicolored table backgrounds and whatnot. Happened to me a couple of times when watching and editing some wikis for extended periods of time. So if I'd get a say in the matter: keep the format sane and maybe check it in Monobook from time to time; what looks good in Monobook — looks good in a sane local layout. If this rule is ever broken — the local wiki layout most probably is as well.
Honestly, I have no idea why would someone use anything other than the Monobook if they have the choice: it's neat and tidy, doesn't contain ads, it's wide and fits everything perfectly and looks like Wikipedia does — what's not to love about it?
Erquint (talk) 10:24, February 6, 2017 (UTC)

You're commenting on a pretty old forum there bud. Though that doesn't necessarily mean the issues were every actually solved. Nor are you wrong about Monobook. Oni Dark Link 10:40, February 6, 2017 (UTC)
Who knows if the next person wandering onto this page finds this advice of mine useful..?
Erquint (talk) 02:51, February 7, 2017 (UTC)


I really don't know what the best way to go about this is, but we have to start somewhere. I'm just going to write down some basic, general stuff I can think of relatively easily. This will include common sense stuff, but I'm just brainstorming to try to get other people to think of stuff.

General formatting:

  • Etymology sections are always placed below all other content, other than the Nav templates.
  • Non-canon sections come after canon sections. Theory sections generally come after both of these.
  • Appearances in multiple games are organized by the order the games were released.
  • We don't use trivia sections. Any information that may be found in such sections should be incorporated into the article if it is relevant or removed entirely if it is not.
  • Quotes: All pages should have a quote at the top of the page that concisely describes the subject. No links should be placed in the quote, though there should be a link to whoever the quote comes from, if possible.

Writing style:

  • We use an in-universe style, which means we treat in-game events as though they were real events, and events are described based on how the characters perceive them.
  • Use present tense for events that take place during a game. Past tense may work when writing about backstory.
  • Always use third person (never use "you" or "the player" in place of "Link") except when writing something that applies directly to the player (like holding down/releasing the button when Z-targeting).
  • We use "logical quotation", so punctuation only goes inside the quotations marks when they are part of the original quote. For example, note how the comma is outside the quotation marks in the preceding sentence.

Add stuff as you will. it's about time we did this. Jedimasterlink (talk) 05:24, April 8, 2011 (UTC)

I think to start off we need some kind of organized system with which we can discuss/tweak rules and get them made official. I have suggested one here. Without a clearly defined procedure I worry that we'd end up with a big mess of rules all on this page, a decent amount of vague support for them, but not much action when it comes to finalizing them/writing them down. So while I'm glad to see another post here and as much as I hate to not respond, I'm going to wait to see if that system or some other idea takes off, and if it doesn't I'll come back and respond to your post directly.--FierceDeku 06:32, April 8, 2011 (UTC)
If you want my opinion, I think the rules should be set up the way I did on Bully Wiki, where I'm a co-bureaucrat. Obviously I'm partial to that way of doing things, but I think it works pretty well. An index page, something like "Zeldapedia:Rules", with the rules listed and briefly described, and individual rules pages for more information.
Rules pages could be worked on at, say, "Zeldapedia:Naming conventions/draft" (obviously, a page about how naming conventions work so people know where to put the pages they create) and then when it's finished, move it to "Zeldapedia:Naming conventions". Either just copypaste the draft wholesale into the new rules page once it's ready or just move it and suppress the redirect.
It's up to you guys how much this is a "community decision" or a "sysop decision", but that's probably one of those things that ought to be written down somewhere... McJeff (talk this way)/(stalk this way) 08:24, April 8, 2011 (UTC)
I was literally about to suggest something similar for categorizing these rules. Coming up with a few categories before we come up with specific rules would certainly help us organize them, as well. So far, general categories I can think of are General Formatting (what headers to use and how they should be organized), Page-Specific Formatting (headers to use on different types of pages (dungeon page, character page, location page, etc.)), Writing Conventions (self-explanatory), Page Naming Conventions (per McJeff), Categorizing (obviously, explains how pages should be categorized, since some areas like items/equipment are a bit ambiguous--hence the discussion going on in another forum), and Redirect/Disambiguation Guidelines (when/how to use them and a note on not linking to such pages from any page space). Is this sufficient, or can anybody think of anything else? Jedimasterlink (talk) 00:39, April 12, 2011 (UTC)
Nothing is coming to mind. I'd recommend making a page with that as the starting category list, and we can always make more as we go. This might go on a separate page entirely from the other rules, but do we have rules regarding blocks/bans written down already somewhere?--FierceDeku 01:18, April 12, 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking that the categories would become the headers on the rules page index, so that the final product would have some organization. Also, I keep thinking that we have guidelines for Admin abilities written down somewhere (I'm certain I've read them before), but I can never find them for some reason...perhaps they're on Wikia's community site? Anyway, let's give people a little more time to suggest stuff (a couple days), then we can start listing rules under the proposed categories or more-efficient-as-of-yet-unsuggested system we may use. Jedimasterlink (talk) 03:17, April 12, 2011 (UTC)


Well, letting this sit for "a couple days" was a bright idea, wasn't it, self... Anyway, IceFlame1019 thinks we should simply add to a list of rules as we encounter them, which, I think, would greatly decrease the load we would have to carry as we do this. I'll start us off by listing the rules categories we came up with all those months ago, so that this endeavor has some organization. Anyone can suggest more rule categories as the need arises. Jedimasterlink (talk) 16:37, January 24, 2012 (UTC)

Page-specific formatting

IDK if this belongs in this sub-section or if an "editing" rule section should be opened, but since I stumbled over it this morning,

  • No edits to another's User Page, even for minor typos.

I should've assumed this earlier but I didn't know even typos were out of the question ^^; IceFlame

  • Items on a page are generally ordered as follows: Infobox, general introduction stuff, canon appearances (only make separate sections for recurring subjects, list in order of release date), non-canon appearances (we still need a standard for ordering this), theories, etymology (when applicable), gallery, see also (when applicable), nav templates, categories.
  • Dungeon pages should list items found and enemies, minibosses, and bosses fought in the dungeon between the canon and non-canon appearance information. Jedimasterlink (talk) 19:02, January 24, 2012 (UTC)
  • Basically this is just formatting stuff here:
|name =
|.... =
{{Q|Link did this.|[[Person who was quoted]]}}
'''This''' is a sentence.

== ''[[The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time]]'' ==

== ''[[The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask]]'' ==

  • No spaces between the infobox, the quote, and the first sentence. No space between templates like featured or unknownname and the infobox. Gallery then see also. – zzi 20:46, January 24, 2012 (UTC)
  • No trivia sections. Any information that may be found in such sections should be incorporated into the article if it is relevant, or removed entirely if it is not.

Moved it down from the above list.--FierceDeku 08:11, January 25, 2012 (UTC)

I also added that you only make separate appearance sections if the thing recurs, and put an MM header/nav box in the example since there technically wouldn't be section without at least two games.--FierceDeku 08:11, January 25, 2012 (UTC)

Writing/editing conventions

  • We use an in-universe style, which means we treat in-game events as though they were real events, and described them based on how the characters perceive them.
  • Write in the present tense for events that happen during the game. Past tense is acceptable when describing backstory which took place before the gameplay of a game.
  • Generally, use "Link" instead of "the player"; when referring to actions the player does take while Link does not (such as pointing with the Wii remote), saying "the player" is appropriate. Never, ever say "you". Jedimasterlink (talk) 19:02, January 24, 2012 (UTC)
  • We use "logical quotation", so punctuation only goes inside the quotation marks when it is part of the original quote. For example, note how the comma is outside the quotation marks in the preceding sentence.

Moved some things down from the above list.--FierceDeku 08:11, January 25, 2012 (UTC)

Page naming conventions

The only thing I can think of here is that the page name is plural if there is a finite amount of the said thing and singular if there is an infinite amount, but I vaguely remember some discussion that found a lot of things exempt to this, so...I dunno. -Minish Link 17:23, January 24, 2012 (UTC)

  • Boss Pages:
    • If a boss is also a major character, the page named for the character is dedicated to storyline and biographical information. A separate page is created titled "Character Name (boss)" to describe the boss battle in detail.
    • If a character/creature is fought as a boss in multiple games, the page named for the boss should feature appearance sections containing general information. Each appearance of the boss is also covered in a separate page, for example "Gohma (The Wind Waker)".--FierceDeku 08:11, January 25, 2012 (UTC)

Redirect/disambig usage

  • Never link to a redirect. Link directly to the original page, but make the game-specific name visible on the page where appropriate (e.g., type [[Wizzrobe|Wizrobe]] when adding a link for Majora's Mask Wizrobes). Jedimasterlink (talk) 19:02, January 24, 2012 (UTC)
  • Try, try, try not to link to Disambigs. If you find a disambig, please link it to the correct page. If you can't find which page it's supposed to go to, remove it. – zzi 20:46, January 24, 2012 (UTC)


Even though we do state it on the image-uploading screen, it would probably be a good idea to state again the rule that each user is allowed only one personal image. Additionally, we should probably give some simplified explanation of how naming conventions work because so many people don't get it. -Minish Link 17:23, January 24, 2012 (UTC)

  • We like to use .png images in the mainspace as much as possible (or .gif images where needed). Jedimasterlink (talk) 19:02, January 24, 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep file extensions lowercase. DON'T UPLOAD VIDEOS! Keep explicit stuff off the wiki. – zzi 20:46, January 24, 2012 (UTC)


Category suggestions

Banning Parameters

Basically we need to put down in writing what qualifies a ban and how long bans should be for certain acts (If we make it more clear to people that sockpuppeting is an instant permaban we m might get less initial bans to begin with). Oni Dark Link 19:35, January 24, 2012 (UTC)

Since we're sort of in throw stuff out there brainstorm mode, here's some bad things that users can do, and people can put recommended block lengths/discussion bellow each one. Admins should obviously be good at that.--FierceDeku 08:11, January 25, 2012 (UTC)
  • Sock Puppeting (editing with more than one account)
  • Edit Warring (repeatedly making the same edit after it has been undone, without prior discussion. The same applies to repeated file/video uploads.)
  • Vandalism, inserting nonsense/gibberish into pages, blanking pages, removing content from pages for no reason
Depending on what you guys think we would maybe just make the categories of "obviously intentional vandalism" and "potentially accidental vandalism".--FierceDeku 08:11, January 25, 2012 (UTC)
  • Inappropriate language
  • Personal attacks

Mass page blankers and sockpuppeters are obviously permabanned, no questions asked. Edit warring should probably be either 1 week or two weeks. Inappropriate language probably warrants one week or a few days. Personal attacks, well, that depends on the severity and frequency of the attacks. That could go anywhere from a few days to a few months, or even a permaban if coupled with hostile vandalism (like replacing all of a userpage's content with racist or sexual attacks). Vandalism is also debatable, but I usually don't give obviously deliberate vandalism any less than three weeks (which usually becomes a month since 3 weeks has to be a "custom" ban time). Jedimasterlink (talk) 21:00, January 25, 2012 (UTC)

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